2019 Recap: A Year in Transition

2019 Recap: A Year in Transition

As we approach the end of 2019, it’s time for a recap. First off, I hope everyone had a wonderful year! For myself personally, it was a time filled with many ups and downs, and if I had to sum things up, I’d say that 2019 was most definitely a year in transition.

In the past, I’ve spent a lot of my time and effort primarily focused on things such as investing and speculating.

But 2019 was kind of different…


The 2019 recap starts with Q1, when I rang in the new year from BGC.

Not long after the new year commenced, I was off to explore the Philippines.

Guimaras Island

Fun with good company.

Camiguin Island

Go where the tourists aren’t for a more chill time.

Camiguin Island Adventures

In February, Bali was up next.

Which made for a most AWESOME experience!

The “Real” Gates of Heaven (Pura Lempuyang) in Bali.

Look at that line…


The real Gates of Heaven

And the ummm “alternative” shot everyone from Instagram wants to post/see.

Gates of Heaven Bali
Not real Gates of Heaven

Fun times!

New Beginnings in BGC

Still during the early part of the year (back in April), but now in Q2, I stumbled upon a wonderful “deep value” opportunity to purchase my very first personal residence in a city (Bonifacio Global City, Manila) that I was finding myself spending a lot of time immersed in, post-FI.

I wouldn’t say I made a rash decision to pull the trigger on purchasing a studio unit in BGC, though, because a few months prior to making the “big move”, I had already outlined on this blog why I thought BGC was fast becoming a strong conviction idea of mine.

In short, BGC pretty much had all the offerings of everything that a guy like me was looking for post-FI (e.g., clean, shiny, modern, very safe, English-speaking, plethora of shops/restaurants/entertainment all within walking distance, shorts n flip flops weather year round, etc.), and I felt confident this was indeed the right move.

personal residence BGC dreams come true
early highlight of 2019

However, as you can see from the image below, I basically inherited a “bare bones” unit and had to start life anew from SCRATCH!

personal residence BGC
early April

Here’s how the unit looked the first night I moved in…

starting from scratch home renovations BGC
beginning of a new journey

Just barely functional…

starting point bathroom

Slowly but surely (piece by piece), though, the house was starting to feel more like a home…

Baboy Inc dining table and workstation
dual purpose: dining table and workstation

For the first time in my life, I was able to customize things just the way I wanted it…

bathroom remodel BGC
bathroom remodel

Trying to stay frugal, yet economical.

Still, despite all the progress and happenings going on with the new digs, the memory of the first part of this year will always be bittersweet for me…

Harsh Reality of Life

Unfortunately, coinciding around the same timeframe of Q2 is when my beloved gmom passed away, which in essence made me alter course, drop everything I was doing out here in Manila, and rush back home to be with family…

It was truly a heart-breaking time for me, a period in which I felt completely lost and unable to process anything, really…

Will always remember

For awhile, I was in a dark, lonely, desolate place in my life…

And the realization that events like this are unavoidable in life, really makes one want to cherish each moment, and not take things for granted…

Priceless moments (and memories)

Anyone who has been a long-time reader of this blog and/or is on the path of early FI knows what I’m getting at.

From an early age, so much of what’s been inculcated into our brains is to chase after $$$ and compete our asses off to make it in this world.

Yes, $$$ is extremely important and it does make much of what goes round and round, but it’s not everything!

Clearly, there are things $$$ cannot buy… and it most definitely can’t help us rewind the clock and give us back…


Family First

So, yeah, with all that in mind, I made a more conscious effort this past summer (when I was back in the Bay Area) to spend more time with family and friends… to appreciate my time back home, as much as possible.

family time
Precious fam time

In fact, I even made the trek up further north in Cali to spend even more time with family… and I somehow managed to even make an awesome new friend, during the process…

best dog ever
new bestie

Just like that, seemingly half the year had already flown by.

Summer Gold Rush

However, despite my shift in focus, I still managed to catch hold of the “short-lived” emerging gold bull market (which may still be intact as we speak), and shared my thoughts with readers in a Thank You Newsletter update.

gold fever thank you newsletter #9
July 2019 Gold Rush

As always, I was more than thrilled to hear stories and receive comments/messages/emails from readers who were taking advantage of the changing tides and making solid (if not AMAZING) gains from the market.

This time around, though, it was kind of a “blink and you’ll miss it” type of proposition for gold, as the broader world of precious metals mining stocks has corrected quite a bit since the euphoric summer highs.

However, overall, I would say it’s been somewhat of a stockpicker’s market, as certain equities have greatly, greatly, outperformed their peers this year.


The 2019 recap continues.

Towards the end of the summer, I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to make it out to Hawaii.

I got to enjoy some wonderful sights, sounds, and of course yummy food.

Helena’s Hawaiian Food

It was refreshing to get away from everything.

2019 highlights and recap

I sure needed some fresh air to clear my mind.

Website Redesign

Furthermore, the website of this blog underwent a major refresh mid-year, as the year of transition continued.

2019 recap new beginnings

At long last, a new blog theme after 7 years!

And although posting has been more scarce on here this year than in the past, nonetheless, even now, I’m still very much excited for the changes.

Looking forward to sharing much more content in the future!

Thanks to the readers who have stuck around through thick and thin!

I appreciate the love and support more than you’ll ever know.

Back to Manila

The 2019 recap now takes us to the last quarter of the year.

Finally, during the early part of Q4, I decided it was time to head back “home” to Manila.

2019 recap back home in BGC

Just in time for a celebration.

2019 recap celebration

Also, it was about time I got back to continuing with the home renovations at my studio unit in BGC.

2019 recap home furnishings BGC

At times, the process of furnishing a new home became tedious, but these are the moments that truly make life special.

2019 recap new home in a new country

I’ll always look back fondly on the journey going from:

Scratch -> Home.

Luckily, the kitchen renovation was completed just in time for Christmas.

2019 recap kitchen remodel completed

Yup, you could say spending more time with family was the prevailing theme for me in 2019.

kitchen remodel lunch meal with family

Trying to make the most of our time together.

Especially during the holiday season.

Ultimately, this is what early FI is all about.

Closing the year out in style!

2019 recap parade BGC

Starting to feel like home now.

2019 recap parade BGC part 2

A year in transition, but no regrets.

2019 year end

And that’s a recap of my 2019, in a nutshell.


I hope you had a most special and memorable year!


To bigger and better days ahead.


Keep up the fight!

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9 months ago

All seems well. You aren’t gambling as much as before